How to fix public relations problems using the 5 Whys technique
Public relations can be a tricky thing to manage. Whether you’re dealing with a crisis, responding to a competitor, or just trying to get your story out there, PR can be a challenge. Thankfully, the 5 Whys technique can help you solve both personal and public relations problems quickly and effectively.
The 5 Whys technique is a powerful tool developed by the founder of Toyota Sakichi Toyoda. It is used to help you identify the root cause of a problem by continually asking the question “Why?” five times.
It is based on the premise that by asking the five whys, you can gain a deeper understanding of the problem and come up with a solution that addresses the root cause.
How to use the 5 Whys technique
Using the 5 Whys technique is easy and can be quite effective. Start with the problem and ask a ‘why’ question about the problem. The next ‘why’ question you ask should then follow on from the answer to the first question. Just follow these steps:
- Ask and answer the question “Why?” five times, each time getting closer to the root cause of the problem
- Ask yourself questions that will help you gain a deeper understanding of the problem
- Be open-minded and don’t limit yourself to traditional solutions
- Once you’ve identified the root cause, come up with a solution that directly addresses the root cause
Here’s an example:
The problem: The client is unhappy about the public relations campaign for its latest product launch.
Why? – Most people have still not seen or heard about the new product. (first why)
Why? – The media coverage was concentrated only in the print media. (second why)
Why? – The broadcast and social media did not find the story interesting enough. (third why)
Why? – There are other hot news items in the air and the product launch story was crowded out. (fourth why)
Why? – The product launch story was not adapted well enough to fit into the broadcast and social media. (fifth why, a root cause)
By following these steps and continually asking “Why?” five times, you can gain an understanding of the problem and develop an effective solution that addresses the root cause.